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Health Insurance: QLD

Jonathan August 13th, 2015 0 comments

Although Medicare pays for some health services for Australians, more than half of the population opts to purchase some type of private health cover. As of December 2015, over 11 million Australians had private hospital cover, while nearly 13 million Australians had general treatment cover.

There are over 30 major insurers offering policies to Australians but there are some substantial differences between insurance markets across different states. If you live in Queensland, it is helpful to have an understanding of your insurance market and of how it compares to others across the country.

Who Are the Biggest Insurers in Queensland?

There are just over 20 insurance providers in Queensland who have open membership funds, and there are additional restricted membership funds as well. Of these insurers, some have a significantly larger market share than others. For example:

  • Medibank has 34.7 percent of the market share in Queensland.
  • BUPA has 33.2 percent of the market share.
  • HCF has 6.9 percent of the market share.
  • NIB has 5.5 percent of the market share.
  • CUA Health has 1.9 percent of the market share.
  • QCH has 1.7 percent of the market share.
  • Westfund has 1.4 percent of the market share.
  • GMHBA has 1.2 percent of the market share.

The other small providers within Queensland all have less than one percent of the market share but this does not mean they should not be considered. You need to look at many factors when shopping for cover and should compare prices and coverage details from insurers of all sizes.

How Does the Cost of Health Insurance in Queensland Compare?

Average premium costs can vary significantly in different parts of Australia. In Queensland, the 2015 average annual premiums for family cover were $4,345 with obstetrics and $4,039 without it. For non-obstetrics cover, this was higher than most other states. For obstetrics, this was slightly above average compared to some other states but less expensive than TAS and marginally less expensive than SA and VIC.

While families in Queensland do not have the opportunity to move to a different state just to lower their average health insurance premium costs, they can shop around to try to find policies with the best value.

How Does Ambulance Cover Vary?

Taking an ambulance to the hospital may be life-saving if you suffer a medical emergency but you must understand how costs are paid as there are substantial differences between states. In Queensland, ambulance coverage is provided by the QLD government. This is not the case in all locations throughout Australia so if you move from QLD and must obtain new health coverage, you should be certain to determine if an emergency ambulance ride will be paid for by your new policy.

How Profitable Are Insurers in Queensland?

In Queensland, insurers had a gross profit margin of 10.6 percent for hospital treatment and 20 percent for general treatment in 2013/14, according to the Competition in the Australian Private Health Insurance Market report . This is substantially lower than in Northern Territory, where the gross profit margin for hospital treatment was 26 percent and the gross profit margin or general treatment was 30.5 percent. Profit is built into the for-profit health insurance market but should be reasonable so consumers do not overpay to enrich insurance companies.

Shop around carefully as you look for cover for you and your family to ensure you get a reasonable premium cost and a policy that provides the type of cover you need to secure your health and have peace of mind that a medical emergency won?t cause you financial harm.

Disclaimer: The above information is correct and current at the time of publication.

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